Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wednesday Wedding Inspiration: Favors

Welcome to Wednesday Wedding Inspirations! 
Today I will be continuing a weekly series where I share ideas and inspirations for anyone who is planning a wedding, or anyone who just loves everything about weddings. Last week, I posted about wedding gowns so if you missed it..you can check it out here

This week I will be sharing some ideas on some creative, fun and budget friendly favors. 
Favors are a great way to give a little thanks to your guests for making it out to your big day..as well as to have some fun and really showcase who you and your man are as a couple. 

My hubby and I love a good night out with friends and some cocktails..so these favors are right up our alley! 

Feel free to click on any of the photos throughout this post to be redirected to the source of the photos :) 
A cheaper alternative to this would be to buy your own shot glasses from discount stores such as Ross, TJ Maxx, Homegoods, etc. You could put your own sayings on the glass using vinyl, or you could just go ahead and fill them with candy.

Champagne and OJ 

I definitely love this one. We are both beer lovers.

Here are some cute and 'random' favors:



You can find a ton of super cute and customizable already made favors from Etsy. This option will save you a ton of time and stress, but can also be very pricy.

If you're like me and on a tight budget, here are some more ideas:


You could also change the label 'Love is Sweet'


I've also seen others who make a donation to their favorite charity in the guest's name. An option could be to choose 2 or 3 of your favorite charities, give guests a 'kiss or hugs' candy when they sign in, then they can choose which charity they'd like you to donate to on their behalf. 

These photos were taken from a friend's wedding :) She is super crafty and creative!! 

What are/were your wedding favors? Any advice/tips for me on favors? I'd love some advice!! 
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Facebook Fan Freebie!

Hey Monday and thanks so much for stopping by! 

My kids have been working hard during math learning all about multiplication and division this quarter.  I must say that they are loving every minute of it and are progressing really well! In my classroom, we do Math Workshop. During math workshop the students will rotate between 4 different 'centers'-Independent work, Hands-on, Computers, and Work with Teacher. 

I'm gearing up for the holiday season already and starting to get some activities ready for our Hands-On Math.  As a child, I remember my dad teaching my how to play the game War, with a deck of cards. This was such a simple game, but I loved it! I decided to re-create the game of War..all while the students are practicing their multiplication facts!



The students will be using these cards as their playing cards. They will split the deck in half, then flip the cards over one by one. The students will say their product out loud to one another. The student that has the higher product will win the cards. 


They will keep track of their score by using the score card to collect snow balls! The student who has the most snow balls at then ending of the game wins the snow ball fight! 

You can score this item for FREE if you are a fan of the Teaching in Paradise Fan Page.  Be sure to click on the 'fan freebies' tab at the top of the page to get access to this exclusive offer! 

Now I'm off to finish cutting these cards! Have a great week! 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Morning Math Work and a Limited Time Freebie!

Happy Aloha Friday!! 

Today I will be sharing with you a little about the morning math work my students do each day. I have found that word problems have always been a struggle for students when they come up to me in 3rd grade. I feel this is a skill that needs to be taught, practiced, reinforced and discussed daily in order for students to become truly proficient. After my first year of teaching, I decided that I would start giving my students daily word problems. I felt that it was a great way to reinforce and review skills that were taught earlier in the year and help prepare them for state testing. 

I have been giving my students morning math for the past 3 years. Each morning they have 2-3 problems a day to work on once all of their morning procedures are taken care of. Some of the problems are word problems, others involve time, money, place value, rounding, etc. I originally started with just word problems but over the years have added in other skills to help keep it fresh in their minds. 

Towards the ending of each day, we take the time to go over and correct each of the problems for that day. The great thing about it is that it is all student led. There will be a student volunteer who goes up to the front of the class, reads the problem aloud, then shares their thinking out loud about the information they knew and how they went about solving. Once they have explained the process to the rest of the class, the other students have the opportunity to ask any questions. I LOVE this part. Sometimes there are students who just don't get why they needed to choose a certain operation, or why you needed to regroup when subtracting....it is the responsibility of the student up front to explain. In the beginning this is rough because it is a learned process...but with guidance, by the ending of the year they are totally little teachers telling others how it's done! While this is happening, I am able to hear the academic vocabulary and know which students truly understand the concepts by how they are re-teaching. Sometimes I am amazed and learn a new way of explaining things! 

Each student has their own morning math folder. At the beginning of each month, I just go an add the sheets to the front of their folder.
The beginning of the year, we review second grade standards. The students are also started off with only 2 problems  so that they can get used to the routines and process of these morning review sheets. After about the first month, they get used to the 2 problems and are able to do 3 in about the same amount of time. 
Over the years I have spent quite a bit of time aligning the questions to Common Core as well as playing around with the 'look' of our morning math. I wish I had a picture of my very first set...which was in Comic Sans, nothing fancy..just numbers. It then got pretty much the same look as now but with all DJ Inkers fonts and clipart. When I got into blogging and TPT last year, I decided that I would make it a project to fix them up by the months to share with you all on TPT.  Since I can't use DJ Inkers in my TPT products, it has taken me awhile to revamp..but I am happy to say that I am just about done! I am also getting ready to bundle up all 10 months to share with you all. 

For now...I have my December set available for you for FREE for a limited time. 
Head to my TPT Store to pick it up. If you do decide to download, I would totally love if you left some feedback! 

I've also been inspired by my fellow Hawaiian Blogger Friends to start up a Facebook for my little ol' blog. I'm still learning how to use it but would love if you headed on over to give me a 'like' :)


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wednesday Wedding Inspiration: Bridal Gowns

Hey there and Happy Wednesday to you! 
For those of you who have been following me for awhile, you know that I got engaged last year. My fiance and I had put wedding planning on hold because we also bought our first home back in May. We have finally set a date for June 29, 2014. That is only 7 months away!!! I get freaked out everytime I think about all the planning I have to do, so to help myself stay on top of the ball and help any of you who are also planning a wedding (or just love anything to do with weddings) I am going to start a weekly blog series. Each Wednesday (I will try my best) I will post some wedding inspiration links/photos that I have found while surfing the web and pinterest.

This week I will be posting some inspiration photos of Bridal Gowns!! 
This was by far probably my favorite part of the wedding planning process. I was that little girl who always dreamt of my wedding and the gown I would wear. Here are some of my dream dress photos:





Absolutely love the bling and detailing of this dress!
This veil is stunning!

I'm sure you can basically figure out the style I love. Big princess ball gown dresses with lots of BLING! 
I can officially say that my wedding dress is paid for and has been ordered. All I can say is that I shocked myself with the dress that I chose to buy. After my wedding passes, I will be sure to post some photos of the dress I chose and tell the story behind it. (I just don't want to share just in case the hubby decides to read this post ;)
 Check out my pinterest for a ton of wedding dress pins!

The Knot also has about a couple thousand photos of beautiful wedding gowns in all different styles!
If you are planning a wedding, make sure to download The Knot wedding app! It is totally amazing and the only thing keeping me semi-on track with planning my wedding!

What is/was your dream wedding dress like?

Stay tuned next week for ideas on creative favors!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Peek Into My REAL Classroom and a Secret!

Today I'm linking up with Jennifer from Teaching with Grace to share with you all what my REAL classroom looks like. No, no, no I have not been sharing fake pictures of my room...but let's all admit it, we all straighten up our rooms before we post pics on our blogs right? I sure know that I LOVE taking pictures of my room before the first day of school. Everything is picture perfect. Once the students arrive, and teaching and learning has happened....it looks like a tornado hit my room! At least I know that by the looks of things, others can tell that there has been learning going on.

Here is a picture of my front board. Many many examples from different lessons that I forget to erase from the board and our anchor charts are totally cluttering the space too :/ 
This is my desk in the front where I use my ELMO. 

Uhm, please don't tell me I'm the only one who shoves things in my desk to make the top look 'neater' (which it obviously doesn't!) 
I'm also guilty of sometimes shoving things in there in the midst of the crazy..and then losing my mind trying to find that thing. 
My desk and our kidney bean table where I work with small groups.
Uhm..In case you couldn't see the messy teacher desk from the picture above, here is a closer photo for you all! :P 
I feel like my messy desk pictures are ALOT worse than others, so I did want to let you know that I am not a complete slob. Other than my areas, the rest of the room is actually pretty neat and clean throughout the day. I'm actually so proud of how neat and organized this bunch of kiddos keeps my library. 

I sometimes feel like a hypocrite when I'm always telling my students to clean their desks...but really, I ain't got NO time for cleaning during the day. I'm constantly sitting and working with kids. 

NOW. I do have a secret to share with you. It's a Cleaning Secret. The rest of my room stays beautifully neat and clean throughout the day (or at least is clean and neat at the ending of the day) due to the wonderful game called:
Find It and Fix It!
I learned about this game from an amazing 4th grade teacher from my school. Basically, you have the kids go around the room trying to 'find and fix' something that is not right. I give them 2 minutes, and at the end I pick a 'winner' that has 'found and fixed' the thing I was thinking about. They all move around the room ever so quickly and quietly while straightening things up, wiping things down, returning supplies to supply bins, picking up trash, pushing in chairs, shutting down computers, organizing the library, putting away manipulatives. You need it done, someones thought of it! The best thing about it is that there really wasn't even any secret thing I was thinking of to be fixed, I just want the room cleaned!! :D In all three years I've been playing this game, not one child has figured it out yet! 
I usually pick a random kid and check names off a list to make sure I got them all, and give them whatever coins I have (classroom economy money) in my pocket at the ending of the day . 
What are your secret tips for keeping the room tidy? 

Monday, November 4, 2013

What's Your Schedule Linky

I've been completely MIA from the blog scene for awhile, but I'm back and going strong with 2 posts in 2 days! As I was catching up with some of my favorite bloggers yesterday, I stumbled upon a new and fun linky party that I couldn't pass up. Today I'm linking up with Susan from TGIF (Thank God It's First Grade for her What's Your Schedule? Linky

I love seeing other peoples schedules and how their day is structured. Here's a peek at my daily schedule!

This schedule is a bit hard for students to read and keep track of, so this is mainly for my use and the main office. To keep my students in the loop of our daily routine, I have our schedule posted on our front whiteboard. 



I've been using these schedule cards for the past 3 years now. I love that I can easily change out the cards and slap it right on the board.. since they all have magnets on the back. You can find the schedule cards I use in my TPT store

During Language Arts I do Daily 5/CAFE Mon-Thurs. My school uses Harcourt Trophies for their LA curriculum, and my grade level wants me to use it so that we can be consistent with grade level assessments. So, I teach the skills from Trophies through CAFE mini lessons and align it to the CAFE strategies throughout the week. On Fridays, we have a short LA block because of music class so I use this day to assess the students on Trophies weekly end of selection tests. 

During Math, we do Math Workshop where students rotate between 4 different activities throughout the room. Each day they have an independent work assignment that is a review of whatever skill we are working on. They also do a hands on activity, where they are playing a review game of some sort or working with task cards. Next is computers- again review games..mostly IXL or Study Island. Last rotation is to meet with the teacher. Here students bring their white boards and we work through problems together and learn new strategies. I'm able to see what students are misunderstanding and help them out right then and there. I'm also able to differentiate instruction this way for each of my groups, which are changed almost daily. I usually give some kind of quick assessment each day, or look through their independent assignment to regroup students.  

From the looks of many of your schedules, I see that we are very fortunate to have 'specials' teachers. Most people hate Mondays but I actually love Mondays because if you notice the last block of the day for me is PE. Our PE teachers are split k-2 and 3-6. Our PE teacher is a certified teacher (former 6th grade teacher) so we are allowed to just drop our kids off..he even dismisses my kids at the end of the day. I absolutely love Mondays! The only other special that we don't need to be there for is Music, which is on Fridays. It's not as long a block but it's just about enough time to get some copies made before I need to pick them up again. 
Our school wide schedule is split up into A weeks and B weeks. A weeks we have Library and our computer class is taught by the computer teacher. On B weeks we have our counselor come into our classroom to do a character education lesson, and computer class is run by me. I love that we have open lab time every other week because it's a great time to work on math skills, or do extension projects. 

On Wednesdays we finish early at 12:30 so that our grade levels can have time to articulate and then head off to faculty meetings. In Hawaii, as a part of our new contract, we were given extended meeting days. We are in meeting from 12:30 all the ways until 3:30, sometimes 4 :( 

Don't forget to head on over and link up with Susan!

I'd also like to give away 2 copies of my schedule cards to the first 2 people who comment and leave their e-mail address :)
Happy Monday!!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

November Currently!

 I feel that the older I get, the quicker each year seems to pass me by. I'm with everyone else and am in shock that it is already November! I'm completely excited though because that means we are that much closer to Christmas!! Can't wait to start decorating :) 

Anyways, I'm linking up with the wonderful Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for her monthly Currently series. I don't know what I'd do without her, because this is probably the only consistent post that I can semi keep up with. 


Listening- To Peace and Quiet. Really, all I hear is the palm trees blowing in the wind :) I've got the house to myself on this lazy Sunday afternoon, so I'm hoping to make it a productive one! 

Loving- That I got to see the hubs 3 times this week. We have opposite schedules. I leave for work at 5 a.m. and get home anytime from 3-5. He works from 4 p.m. till midnight. The only times we see each other are on his days off, which are Tues and Wednesday evenings. We also get to spend some time together on Sat/Sun. mornings for a few hours before he heads out (at around 2 since we live far from where he works). This was the first time in a long while we got to spend an entire Saturday together...even better it was at this beautiful resort! 



Here's us enjoying a drink at a wedding this past Saturday :) 

Thinking- That it's crunch time as we are getting married in less than 7 months! I have a ton of planning and hashing out of little details to do. In order to keep me on track, I plan on doing a weekly blog series of wedding Inspirations. 
Are any of you in the process of planning a wedding also? 

Wanting- Another day in the weekend, they just fly by too quickly! I never have enough time to finish up all that is on my 'to do lists' OR even find time to relax and enjoy the weekend. 

Needing- to go for a run, badly. I went crazy this past weekend binging on yummy foods (think-buffets for breakfast and dinner) and way too much alcohol. I feel like I packed on a few pounds over the past few days :/ 

Speaking of eating wayy to much, I am so excited to share a favorite yummy pin. If you didn't already know, I LOVE food and I LOVE to eat! So as you can imagine, I go a little crazy pinning to my yummy in my tummy pinterest board! Head to my board to check out many more yummy recipes/pins but for now..I'll leave you with this one.

Creamy Garlic Pasta
This is actually one of the few recipes I have tried off of pinterest, and let me say that it is DElicIOUS!
You can click the photo to get the recipe OR head on over to The Cheese Pusher  for this and many other yummy recipes!